Letters from the Issue of April 6, 2006

“Miami is moving from a drug-trafficking, superfluous, decadent city to a cultural metropolis”

Maybe you ought to think about taking the blinders off for a couple of pages of opinions on stuff that's important to the rest of us and drop a couple of pages of ads (Sorry, God forbid we would want to mess with the people paying the freight), or perhaps terminate one of your liberal "journalists" — Lord knows you have enough of those — to squeeze in a couple of pages for the proletariat.

Brian Rook
Miami


Pet Preserved

Finally in print: As a practicing small-animal veterinarian, I felt the need to respond to the persecution of Miami-Dade Animal Services in Francisco Alvarado's article "Death by the Pound" (January 26). I have worked in Miami Humane Society facilities; small animal hospitals in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Tampa; a Tampa-area animal control facility; and a feral cat spay/neuter program. After reading the sensationalized piece, I felt a strong need to present some facts and observations I think point the finger of blame for the "death-by-Miami demise" at the community: Miami-Dade Animal Services is simply finalizing the death sentence that society has placed on these animals through neglect and decreased willingness to spay and neuter.

1. County-run shelters must take all stray, abandoned, relinquished, and sick or dangerous animals. The Humane Society and other privately owned shelters can deny pets that cannot be adopted because of temperament, illness, or lack of space to properly house them. Therefore they have the option not to have to euthanize nearly as many animals.

Animal Services removes unwanted animals from the streets, provides medical services, spays and neuters, and finds suitable homes if possible. Something has to happen to those that aren't "adoptable."

2. Why are there so many pets entering Miami-Dade Animal Services? This is because of the combined effect of a warm tropical climate and cultural reluctance to spay and neuter pets. In the tropics a female cat can have a litter of kittens, and before the end of the year, her kittens can already be having kittens! I have seen more mammary gland cancer, pyometra (life-threatening infection in the uterus), testicular cancer, and prostatic cancer in the Miami area than I ever saw in Tampa. These life-threatening diseases and offspring could have been prevented in most cases by spaying or neutering pets at a young age.

In conclusion, I want people to realize that when society points a finger at Miami-Dade Animal Services for euthanizing unwanted animals, it points three fingers back at itself. Ask yourself: What have I done to help or hinder this problem within my community? Is my pet spayed or neutered? Did I purchase a pet from a breeder or pet store versus adopting one from a shelter or rescue group? Have I volunteered to help clean cages or wash or walk dogs at a local shelter? Have I made a financial donation to Animal Services, a rescue group, or the Humane Society?

Cyrena Rose
Miami Shores

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